Home Decor/Improvement

Take It or Leave It: Sentimentality vs. Practicality When Moving

If you ever thought that moving involves nothing more than packing your stuff and going, think again. More than relocating your furniture and rearranging them in the new pad, you might go through the inevitable process of deciding what to take and what to leave.

For some people, it’s hard to choose between taking everything and being a bit more realistic about the costs. Today, we explain why this is so, and how to make better, more practical decisions.

Objects and their meanings

The movers will be here any minute. You still haven’t decided whether to take the smelly old couch where you and your college friends used to hang out. The thought of parting with that ugly old thing makes you nauseous, but you’ll need to pay an extra $20 for the added weight.

This is a usual scenario for anyone anticipating an impending move. Some people attach emotions to personal items because they were part of a meaningful experience.

“Part of the reason is nostalgia, but there seems to be a deep attachment to these objects as well,” explains the University of Bristol psychologist Bruce Hood. “It’s called essentialism, the idea that some objects are more than just their physical properties.”

It becomes a problem when these objects have no actual use and will get in the way of a practical lifestyle.

Time to face reality

Just because it’s backed up by science, it doesn’t warrant paying for an additional $100 for moving costs. You can indulge yourself in small things, like the stuffed Minion you won at some school fare or the custom coins you got cheap, but once you get way off your budget, it’s time to reconsider.

The secret is balance. Do you want to take the limited edition Lightsabers? Then, give up the broken Lord of the Rings lamp. Or the other way around.

By making sacrifices and sorting out your priorities, you can treat yourself without your budget suffering. Sometimes, it’s not a debate between what you want and what you need, because those are two easily interchangeable.

Here are some actionable tips to help you make the distinction:

We’ve established that whether an object is priceless or worthless depends entirely on your point of view. To measureits actual value, you have to be objective and ask these questions:

  • How often do you use the item? Do you keep it out of necessity or out of habit?
  • Does having this item make your life easier or more comfortable? Is it convenient?
  • Is it in good condition? Is it functional? Does it fulfill its purpose?
  • Is it high-quality? Is it durable?
  • Will it fit into the new environment in terms of style, space, and layout?
  • Does it have any use in your new home?

If the item is only used on rare occasions, no longer functions well, has become outdated, doesn’t blend well with your new space, or won’t be useful in your new lifestyle – all at once – it’d serve you better to leave it behind.

Moving is many things – it’s stressful, expensive, and challenging. It’s also new, exciting, and life-changing. Above all, it’s a chance for a new beginning in a brand new environment. Make sure you’re bringing the right things with you.



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